The union organized rallies on St. Mary’s Day and the second Christmas shopping Saturday and there were isolated warning strikes. In the fifth round of negotiations, the union did not want to accept the employers’ offer of an 8 percent increase in salaries without any social scale. The Handels-KV is about the salaries of 430,000 employees and apprentices. It is the second largest collective agreement in Austria. The union is insisting on an increase of at least the level of rolling annual inflation. That would be 9.2 percent.
More on the subject:
- Hardly any restrictions due to warning strikes in retail
- Failed KV negotiations in retail: “It’s a mess” [OÖNplus]
- Handels-KV: The 5th round also failed to bring an agreement – demo on Friday in Linz
If there is no agreement between employer and employee representatives in the next few days, the federal trade division of the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKÖ) wants to make a recommendation for “a sustainable salary increase” to the companies. WKÖ trade chairman Rainer Trefelik sees the so-called Benya formula as “more than fulfilled” by the current employer offer because productivity and sales in retail are declining. With the Benya formula – named after the long-time ÖGB president Anton Benya (1963-1987) – the inflation rate of the past twelve months plus the average productivity growth are the starting point for collective agreement negotiations.
So far, the GPA and the Chamber of Commerce have not yet agreed on a new date for the sixth round of negotiations.